Remember, there are many kinds of poverty. There are those who have no home. There are those who are hungry. There are those who are ill and are poor in spirit. There are those who are in prison and are so impoverished, they are barely living.
Then, there are those who are old. In need. Lonely.
One of my most beautiful childhood memories is that of my father visiting a man who lived in a chicken coop. I remember the tiny shack, barely standing. The man must have had a degenerative disease, probably cancer. I remember how frail he was, I could see his bones - all of them. He coughed and had to hold on to the splintered, gray boards as he spoke to my father.
In my memory, the most striking thing was my father's love for the man.
I was seven years old, and we were in New Jersey, preparing to be missionaries. I think that was the first time I realized what it meant to reach out to those who were alone and without anyone else.
I have no idea if the man accepted the Lord, or if there was any other contact. I only know that we rode for a long time on dry, dusty roads to see someone we did not know. I knew the man was dying, and I knew that if we had not come, he would have died alone and without Jesus.
Oh, Soldier! Please. Look away from your own comfort needs, and be available. What is it to you if you live or die? What does it matter if you have much or little? You know where you are going and you have the assurance of eternal security.
He took up the Cross. Will you?